James Smith “Mac” McDonnell.
Image: jsmf.org.

On this date in 1899, James S. McDonnell was born. He was an American engineer, and president of McDonnell Aircraft from 1939-1972. His innovative fighter designs were initially unsuccessful, but the F-4 and F-15 became the premier US fighters after 1960. His firm also was the prime contractor for the Mercury, Gemini, and Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) spacecraft.